Marine Scotland Commissions ABPmer to Assess Socio-Economic Effects of Proposed MPAs
ABP Marine Environmental Research Ltd (ABPmer), in association with eftec, has been contracted to develop the socio-economic evidence base that will be used by Marine Scotland to complete Business and Regulatory Impact Assessments for each proposed Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area (MPA), and an accompanying Sustainability Appraisal.
The Marine (Scotland) Act and the UK Marine and Coastal Access Act contained provisions for the designation of a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Scottish territorial and offshore waters in order to protect marine biodiversity and geodiversity and contribute to a UK and international network of MPAs.
The identification and selection of MPA sites is primarily a ‘science-led’ process. However, socio-economic evidence can be considered in Ministers’ decisions as to whether to designate specific sites, particularly where several different alternatives may make a similar ecological contribution to the MPA network. Socio-economic evidence can also be taken into account in determining the management approaches adopted for individual MPAs.
Dr Stephen Hull, Technical Director at ABPmer said: “ABPmer is delighted to have been appointed to undertake this work for Marine Scotland. Through the use of scenarios, the assessment will investigate the potential economic benefits and costs, and associated potential social impacts, of designating each individual proposed Nature Conservation MPA. It will also investigate the potential economic benefits and costs, and associated potential social impacts from designating the suite of MPA proposals as a whole.
Working with stakeholders we will apply the knowledge we have gained through the other strategic studies undertaken to support the development of UK MPA proposals.”
The work will support Marine Scotland’s public consultation on MPAs in summer 2013.
Press Release, May 16, 2013